Feb 13, 2012

New Kid on the Block: The Global Mail

The Global Mail is about long reads, of the kind one once found in the Saturday papers and in quality magazines. But it has no business model to sustain itself.

Margaret Simons

Journalist, author and director of the Centre for Advanced Journalism

The same week in which we saw some predominantly gloomy circulation figures (combined with new ways of reporting readership for Fairfax broadsheets), we also saw the launch one of the highest-profile new kids on the block in new media — the much anticipated online only Global Mail.

This is Australia’s richest example of philanthropically-funded journalism so far, with a mission to deliver “original, fearless, independent journalism”. Yet another example of how much energy there is outside the gloom of mainstream media.

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12 thoughts on “New Kid on the Block: The Global Mail

  1. paddy

    Clunky on tablets?????

    Try navigating The Global Mail on a humble windows desktop. (Grrrr!)
    Bloody side scrolling garbage with obscured text (due to poorly placed rss tab) and ridiculously large banners that are a total waste of screen real estate.

    There’s certainly some interesting and (no doubt over long) articles, but the sheer awfulness of the web interface, reduces me to a ranting wreck each time I visit their site.
    Hopefully, they’ll iron out the gremlins in the coming weeks.
    But right now, their site is an utter dog.

  2. ggm

    I think getting sucked into a ‘form not function’ argument is going to waste energy. They may, or may not, hang onto this particular style of sideways swipe. I don’t find it inherently better or worse than others, but I do notice that its quite intuitive for anyone who is used to reading on an iPad or Android class device. (which btw, I am not: I observe it, I do not have one myself)

    What interests me is that they have found sufficient funds ($15m) to have a 5 year plan and some in-depth courage, a commodity which frankly has been MISSING a lot these last few years. Money and editorial independence is a pretty good combination. I’ve read two articles so far, and I found it was well written, compelling, and worth the investment. I even talked about it, water-cooler or otherwise and frankly that alone is a good sign, because it made me THINK. Oh, and one was referenced by somebody else, so clearly there are two of us.

    I don’t agree with Paddy (above) I think its pretty good.

    If they have to go pay to make it work, this one might even get me to pay, and considering how much I snark and snipe on crikey without paying, thats saying something..


  3. Ian

    I have tried to get onto the Global Mail since day one. Firefox, Safari and Chrome all say they can’t find the site. Does it exist and is there anyone who can offer some advice.

  4. jmendelssohn

    Ian, on Chrome, Firefox + Safari. GGM is right about the site. I hope they get an app soon as these are good, long, considered articles of the kind I have long missed.
    The article on Mitty Lee-Brown was a bit gossipy, but so little has been written on her in recent years, and it does raise issues of decay and age in a distant land.

  5. Brian Williams

    Ian – it’s….not That might be your problem. Mind you, I think they’re nuts not grabbing the and parking it, just to be on the safe side.

  6. Bobalot

    How on earth do you scroll to the side? I’m trying to read the rest of the articles, but I have no idea on how to scroll left.

  7. paddy

    Bobalot, try clicking on the “transparent” arrows at the edge of the page.
    It’s not true scrolling, but page flicking ala “touch screen tablet” style.
    (A right royal PITA.)

    Ian, I’ve had no problems getting to the site (except for the brief overload on opening day.) But going directly to their IP results in no response.
    So they might still be having “technical issues” with their web address.

  8. AR

    Now we have two reliable sources of analysis of the big issues. I’d pay, as I do Crikey, without hesitation.

  9. Michelle Imison

    The Twitter feed is eminently readable if you roll your cursor over it; the looping text slows down and, when you’ve read whatever’s on the screen simply move the cursor and it starts moving again. Easy!

  10. Peter Evans

    The Global Mail website IS a web app designed for tablets. It works beautifully on an iPad – it’s easily the best way to read it. And I like the horizontal scroll design of the website – that’s a bold and very effective way of doing it, but sure to piss off the crotchety.

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